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Point Of View

High-Speed Rail Hiring Practices

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KTTV Vice President and General Manager Kevin Hale KTTV Vice President and General Manager Kevin Hale

What do ex-cons and trade unions in California have in common? They are both getting preferential hiring treatment by the California High Speed Rail Authority. Don't believe me?

Part of the California High-Speed Rail Authority's game plan is to hire "disadvantaged workers." That itself should be a noble cause.

I'd like to hear your Point of View. Send me an email at POV@fox11.com

But they are defining "disadvantaged workers" as former criminals and some union workers. The agreement is skewed to benefit these two groups, who will comprise the majority of the "favored" project's employees. Look, I'm not against giving people opportunities, such as ex-cons, but I also do not believe any group of people should be given preferential hiring status on this taxpayer funded project. Hiring should be based on skill and a person's ability to do the job.

And why are some union apprentices being included in the "disadvantaged workers" program?

And how exactly are they disadvantaged?

Well they are being defined as disadvantaged because they are primarily young people, just starting out in their careers, working their way up the union ladder. This is a great example of why critics are calling this a big make-work project that has less and less to do with efficiently building a high-speed rail. They're more concerned with giving preferential treatment than they are with building high speed rail competently and hiring the best-qualified workers.

If this is really how they're going to run things, then they need new management with fresh ideas for HSR and fresh ideas for other big expensive state run initiatives. This plan needs to be put on hold.

I'd like to hear your Point of View. What do you think? We want to hear from you on this P.O.V. segment. Share your thoughts in the comments section below or email me directly at POV@fox11.com.

Kevin Hale,

Vice President and General Manager
KTTV-TV, FOX 11 News

The views expressed are not necessarily those of the station or its employees.

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